Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the 25th World Economic Forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. AFP
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at the 25th World Economic Forum in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. AFP

Gov’t backs down on ‘samdech’ directive

Prime Minister Hun Sen has U-turned on a directive to media outlets to use the honorific “samdech”, less than a day after the Ministry of Information issued a final warning to non-complying media.

In a comment on his Facebook page on Friday, Hun Sen wrote: “The exact title of a government leader is not necessarily required when writing if the media don’t want to use it. But please write in a way that respects the code of ethics and with proper sources in order to avoid inaccurate information.”

The change of heart came a day after Global Witness published a new report exposing the prime minister’s family’s vast business empire.

Ministry of Information spokesman Ouk Kimseng confirmed the title “samdech”, meaning “outstanding leadership and love from the people”, was no longer to be imposed by the government.

Cambodian Centre for Independent Media executive director Pa Nuong Thea welcomed the move, saying forcing journalists to use “samdech” violated their freedom of choice.

Additional reporting by Vong Sokheng

MOST VIEWED

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Transport minister requests free trial of Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway

    The Ministry of Public Works and Transport held discussions with the company constructing the expressway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province to allow drivers to test the road free of charge before an official toll is set. While inspecting the progress of its construction